Buying a home can seem a little intimidating, especially if you’re totally new to the process. It’s natural to have lots of questions! And in fact, it’s good; the more you ask, the more you’ll learn, and the more prepared you’ll be. And chances are, you’re not the first Hoboken homebuyer to ask. Here are some of the most common questions we hear from our buyers. Don’t see your question? Call us at any time!
Hoboken Frequent Home-Buying Questions
1. Where should I start?
The best place to start is actually not with homes at all, but with your wallet. It’s critical to have your finances in order before you start shopping—especially in competitive markets like Hoboken’s. Your income, your debt-to-income ratio, your credit score, and your assets are all important factors lenders will analyze when determining how much they’re willing to lend—or whether you’ll qualify at all!
Not sure where you stack up? Ask a lender directly! Most lenders are willing to take a look at your financial situation to determine whether you’d quality—no obligation.
2. Should I use a Realtor?
The short answer is: absolutely! Real estate agents provide invaluable advice, resources, and knowledge, all of which can ultimately be the difference between finding a home you love and a lot of financial headache. Realtors can help you determine where you want to look, what you need in a house, and how much you’re willing to pay. They can help you negotiate for a better price or loan terms. They can handle all the communication and scheduling between parties. And of course, they’ll guide you through the process, every step of the way.
The best news? In most cases, the seller, not the buyer, pays your agent’s commission.
3. Where can I get a loan?
There are quite a few places to get a mortgage. Banks and credit unions are typically among the most popular. There are also private mortgage companies that specialize in home loans, and mortgage brokers that can shop around and compare rates for you. It’s always best to weigh a few options and speak to a few different companies.
Start by asking for recommendations from friends or family who’ve bought recently. Check in with companies you currently bank with. And definitely don’t forget to ask your agent!
4. How much do I need for a down payment?
This depends on you, your lender, and the type of loan you’ll be using. In most cases, you’ll need a 10% – 20% down payment… but there are certainly options for buyers who can’t cover such a large initial investment. Government-backed loans like the VA loan or the FHA loan help buyers purchase with as little as 0% or 3.5% down, respectively. You may also be able to qualify for a state loan, such as the NJHMFA First-Time Buyer Loan.
5. How do I know what to look for in a home?
This is largely dependent on your household’s individual needs and preferences. We typically recommend that our buyers make a list of “needs” and “wants” prior to shopping for a home. Focus on big-picture high-importance items for your needs column—things that are difficult to change, such as your home’s location or size.
Your “needs” should be non-negotiables. If a home is missing a “need”, it is not the right home! Your “wants,” however, can be a little more flexible.
6. How many homes should I see before I decide?
As many as it takes! Unless the first home you walk into immediately checks all of your boxes, you’ll probably need to see at least a few before making a decision. In general, most buyers browse hundreds of homes online, but will only see about 10 in person. However, that doesn’t mean you need to see as many as 10 or only 10. Some buyers will find their home quickly while others may search for a few months.
7. What happens after I find the right home?
After you find a home you love, your agent will help you craft an offer letter. This includes your asking price, your closing dates, and your down payment amount, as well as any contingencies you’re requesting. Most offers include a few contingencies, such as a home inspection, appraisal, and title check.
Once you submit your offer, the seller may accept it as-is. They may reject it. Or they may issue a counter offer with modified terms, conditions, or price.
8. How long does the process take?
This really depends on how long it takes you to find the right home! Typically, once you make your offer, the closing process usually takes about 30 – 45 days. However, the seller might request additional time before you close if they’re still shopping for another home or planning a move.
Ready to Buy in Hoboken?
Are you thinking about making a move in the Hoboken or Jersey City area? We’re here to help! Contact the Eddie Perez team today and let us put our decades of experience to work for your home-buying goals.